Lay the Draw Strategies

Game selection. Keep it cheap & make it more profitable

This article is aimed at drawing attention to the massive impact that increment changes can have on stake sizes and profit & loss.
Quite a complex subject, but a subject that all Betfair traders need to understand to some extent, in my opinion.
These are the odds at which the odds increments change :- 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 20, 30, 50, 100.

Comfort Zone trading.
I would guess that when most of us set up a Lay The Draw trade, one of the main considerations will be the size of the liabilities of our Lay in Match Odds.
We may put some lay odds and bet odds together to get some idea of profit from a successful trade, but I would guess that most traders wouldn’t know how to improve profit, without increasing the lay stake.

The rule that we use is :- Increase the lay stake, or the lay odds, and we increase the lay liabilities.

My guess is that many of us probably use that simple rule to trade within our comfort zone if we place a Lay First trade such as LTD.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with applying that rule if we are simply placing a lay, but if we are trading using a lay and a bet, or a bet followed by a lay, that very simple rule is useless and will cause problems.

Bet and lay trades are a completely different animal to just a bet, or just a lay.
Chuck odds increment changes into the bet & lay equation and things get even more complicated.
Other web pages on this web site explain with videos, how odds and profit interact with increment changes, so we will carry on here and look at how we may be able to improve profit & loss in any Betfair bet and lay trade, not just the LTD trades shown in this example.

So, how can we increase the lay odds, reduce liabilities, and increase profit ?
That looks impossible, but there is a way to increase odds, reduce stakes, AND increase the return on our investment :-

As part of your selection process, choose a runner to trade based on Odds Selection.
For this LTD demonstration, I choose example games based entirely on the odds of the Draw in the Match Odds markets.

The first screenshot below shows English Premiership games for a weekend in May 2024.
From those, I have selected a cheap game to trade, Brentford v Fulham, and an expensive game to trade, Brighton v Aston Villa, based on the Draw odds available.

The screenshot below shows those 2 games side by side in a Hedge 6 Markets spreadsheet. Lay odds and stakes have been entered at row 19 columns C&D and G&H. Bet odds have been entered at row 19, but also at row 11 in the yellow cells B11 & F11 so that the spreadsheet shows a range of odds and Bet stakes to equalize each of the 2 trades. A Bet of the £40 stake at A11, on the Draw in the Brentford game, would equalize that trade for a £1 profit. A Bet of the £77 stake at E11, on the Draw in the Brighton game, would equalize that trade for a £1 profit. The staking of both trades aim for a 1 tick profit of £1, but note the massive difference between the stake sizes of the 2 trades, which take place just either side of a change in the increment size at odds of 4.0. Look at column B. Subtract odds 3.95 from odds of 4.0 = 0.05. Subtract odds 4.0 from odds of 4.1 = 0.1 ……… The difference between the odds, the increment, has doubled. To hit a profit target of £1 for a 1 tick trade, this screenshot demonstrates that we need to almost double the size of our stakes at the lower odds. Note the massive difference in the lay liabilities at B3 & F3.

Now look at the Hedge columns D & H.
Hedge profit & loss in black & red progress at very different rates due to the big difference in the stakes.
Profit in black sets off at quite a similar rate, but note how a red trade loss generates losses in column H that are near enough DOUBLE the losses in column D.
This problem can be avoided once you become aware of how profit from bet and lay trades is affected by the size of the odds to be traded, and increment sizes.

The 3rd screenshot below shows the Brighton v Aston Villa trade with staking for a 50 pence profit target, and also with a £41 opening lay stake, which is the same as the Brentford v Fulham example.
Now, the red hedge losses in columns D & H are very similar, but profits in black in column H lags behind column D by increasing amounts.
The section to the right of that screenshot shows P & L for a £41 opening lay stake.

We can now compare both trades with equal opening £41 lay stakes, but at slightly different odds of course.
Losses at the smaller odds in column L are bigger than in column D, and profit increases by only 51p & 50p at odds 3.95 & 4.0, before hitting the bigger increased increment at odds 4.1.

In my opinion, one strategy that we could use when trading any odds movement in any Betfair market is to look for odds that keep our trades cheap.
Trading at the bottom end of an increment range will keep stakes down and the return on £££ investment up, for any desired profit.
Trading at the top end of an increment range is likely to reduce the return on investment and also generate bigger losses if we have a red trade.

Now if we go back to screenshot 1 and look for Draw odds near the bottom of an increment range, and others near the top of their range, several games to avoid stand out, whilst others look attractive :-
Games to avoid :- Brighton v Aston Villa, Liverpool v Tottenham, Crystal Palace v Man Utd. All near the top of their odds range, and just below an increment increase.
Games that look good :- Brentford v Fulham, Burnley v Newcastle. Possibly Sheff Utd v Nottm Forest. All just above an increment increase, so all are near the bottom of their range of odds that have the same increment size.
Results Sat 4th May 2024 – Mon 6th.  Brighton v Aston Villa 1-0 (87 mins), Liverpool v Tottenham 4-2, Crystal Palace v Man Utd 4-0.
Brentford v Fulham 0-0, Burnley v Newcastle 1-4, Sheff Utd v Nottm Forest 1-3.

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Videos :- Lay The Draw strategies, including using Correct Score instead of Match Odds.
Video 1.  Describes a Hedge 3 Bets spreadsheet that was set up for lay The Draw trades.

Video 2.  A Be A Bookie Dutching spreadsheet is used to work out the stakes for Draw score in Correct Score.
Dutching Correct Score is used to provide insurance against a 0-0 outcome, but no stake is placed on 0-0.

Video 3.  Describes a Lay The Draw Exit Strategy, using a Dutch 3 Lays spreadsheet.
Find a FREE  on-line copy of that spreadhsheet here :-  
https://betandlay.co.uk/calculators/

Video 4.  Make a very late exit at 0-1 or 1-0.

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